Boats Against the Current

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The title of this blog comes from the closing sentence of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

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The Magicians by Lev Grossman

I decided to write a slightly longer “review” of The Magicians on Goodreads. 

I really wanted to enjoy this. And I did! …For a few chapters. 

Unfortunately, the surprisingly poor writing (whoever edited this should be fired) and the often irritating characters cast a cloud over the the rest of the novel. 

For those who haven’t read the back cover, The Magicians is a “creative” (read: crude) amalgamation of Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter with a dash of “For Mature Audiences Only” content included for good measure (read: no real reason). While that premise may be compelling to some of my fellow Millennials, Grossman’s fusion of these well-known series was, to this humble reader, exasperatingly predictable and despicably derivative (there’s homage, and then there’s plagiarism).

As for the much touted “Mature Audiences Only” content… 
YOU’VE FAILED. 
A vaguely S&M gay scene and a few painfully odd heterosexual dalliances does not make a book “edgy” or “interesting.” …Particularly when said sex scenes are cobbled together merely to shock an audience. And, on a related note, Mr. Grossman really needs to bone up (hehaw) on his sexual prose. I was more turned on while reading the instruction manual for my Cuisinart.

Before I wrap this up, I really need to address the plot (read: the drain around which all of this shit seems to spiral). Too often, I felt as though Grossman were rushing through his own script. Perhaps he was bored, or perhaps he realized that he didn’t have anything to say. It’s hard to attach a justification to this vertiginous flight, but the audience is rocketed through a variety of interesting environments with nary a moment to stop and smell the roses. When the most interesting part of your book is the setting, you’d think you would want to spend a bit more time exploring those worlds…

I know I should cut this off here, but I feel I need to comment for a moment on the infamously poor ending. 

…It’s shit. Pure and simple. If the entitled whining of the main characters hadn’t turned you off from this book before, the final scene will do the deed. I don’t know what Grossman was thinking, but it clearly wasn’t much. 

Still, I finished the Hunger Games—and I loathed those—so I fully intend to read the rest of this trilogy in the vain hope that it will improve. I’m ready to be disappointed. 

Here are some waspy photos of me and my mother. 

#GPOY  #family  #mom  

Mainlining Transparent

  • Shelley: Are those Jewish books?
  • Raquel: Hot off the presses 2500 years ago.
  • Shelley: No. He wouldn't like that. He likes Dean Koontz. Got any Dean Koontz?
  • Note: I want to spend quality time with Judith Light.

Geronimo - Sheppard

I don’t have much to say about this. It’s a little dorky and it’s not exactly unique, but I keep listening to it because it’s been stuck in my head for the last three days. 

You can find more from Sheppard on their website and the music video for Geronimo here

via SoundCloud / wearesheppard

To expect truth to come from thinking signifies that we mistake the need to think with the urge to know. Thinking can and must be employed in the attempt to know, but in the exercise of this function it is never itself; it is but the handmaiden of an altogether different enterprise.

Hannah Arendt
 
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